Senate Panel Votes To End Drug Industry’s Practice Of ‘Pay-To-Delay’ GenericsThe Associated Press: "In a defeat for the powerful drug lobby, a Senate panel approved legislation to prohibit drug companies from paying generic drug makers to delay bringing less costly products to market. The measure would ban a 'pay-to-delay' practice - opposed by the [Federal Trade Commission] in a series of lawsuits brought since 2001 - in which brand-name drug companies and generic drug makers both profit. Brand-name drug makers get higher prices while the generic companies are paid to stay out of the market." The language was inserted into a spending bill in the FTC's budget and approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee (Taylor, 7/29).
The Wall Street Journal: "Under the legislation, a drug patent settlement would be presumed unlawful when a brand company pays a generic company to drop a patent challenge that could lead to early market entry of a competing generic medicine." Backers of the measure "say the drug settlements are anticompetitive and hold up the entry of low-cost drugs that could save consumers billions of dollars. Opponents say the drug settlements are pro-competitive because they often allow generic drugs on the market before a branded drug maker's patent ends, while also removing the uncertainty of patent litigation" (Kendall, 7/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.